It’s unfortunate that even when you are RVing, you have to prevent RV theft. The good news is that there are many inexpensive, practical, and easy to implement strategies to keep your RV safe from wannabe thieves. Find out what they are and our own experience with RV theft.
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Our Theft Story
Earlier this year, we had a theft in the RV. It was so unexpected. We had been to this RV park before and never had an issue. In fact, we had already been to 18 states and countless RV parks, campgrounds, state parks, and boondocking locations. The good news is that it was only our portable gas can. It wasn’t secured and was being stored on our RV back rack. We use the back rack to store things like this and a few other RV supplies. On occasion, we keep our generator back there too, but it is always secured with a combination coiled lock. It was an unfortunate event, but it could have been much worse. After this experience, we have been researching RV safety and how to prevent additional RV thefts.
Prevent Your RV from being Stolen
You’ve heard the stories of people’s RVs being stolen. Sometimes from storage units and other times while traveling and unattended. Regardless of where it happens, it is also a heartbreaking experience, but it can be prevented.
Any and all RVs can be made immovable by locking the wheels. There’s the classic boot, but you can also use lockable wheel chocks. These are more practical for RVs in storage or if you will be staying in the same location for long periods. If you are planning on using this while in a campground or RV park, make sure to clear it with management before installing.
For Travel Trailers you will want to use a hitch lock/coupler lock. This device will prevent a wannabe thief from hitching up your RV to their hitch ball by blocking and locking your travel trailer hitch. These devices are inexpensive and easy to install. The beauty of this theft deterrent is that you can use it while your travel trailer is in storage or while you are RV camping.
Got a Fifth Wheel? Get yourself a king pin lock. This will prevent anyone from hitching up your RV and driving away. Like the hitch lock/coupler lock for travel trailers, the king pin lock is also inexpensive and easy to install. It can also be used while your fifth wheel is in storage or while you are RV camping.
Motorhomes can be secured as you would any other motor vehicle – install a club or similar device to make the steering wheel unusable and you can install a vehicle alarm. Both of these items are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. And if they keep a thief at bay, then will save you a lot of money and stress.
Best Ways to Prevent Breaking and Entering
Replace your RV Locks
Like so many other things in your RV, those RV locks need to be replaced!! Did you know that most RV storage compartment locks are universal (universal CH751 lock set)?! Yep! So that means that if you lose your keys, chances are your RV neighbor can use their keys to open your storage doors. Yikes! Now you front entry door is more secure, or at least that’s what I read during my research. The deadbolts are unique to the RV, but there are master keys that the dealers use for their RVs on the sales lot. Oh and on sales day, sometimes that master key is what is handed to you as your key.
Your best bet is to replace those locks pronto. For your entry doors, you can easily install a new deadbolt or a keyless entry system. Either one will help make your RV doors more secure and make it less likely that a thief will be able to break-in. For your storage compartments, you can have it re-keyed or you can replace the entire thing with a combi-lock. Because the last thing you need is to have someone going through your storage areas and taking your things, or worse, being able to gain access to the inside of your RV!
Install a Security and/or Video Surveillance System
I never thought that a security system or video surveillance system would be needed in an RV. After my research, I’m finding that it is a good option to prevent theft, even in an RV. Hippie and the Tech recently installed Ring. A video surveillance system. Since they have installed it, I have been wondering if it might be necessary for us as well.
Common Sense Theft Prevention Techniques
Heading out for the evening? Leave those lights on!
Nothing will deter a wannabe thief like an RV that is lit up inside and outside. That’s why you see all those retail stores with their lights on, even after hours.
Whether you have a house, apartment, or are full-timing it in an RV, there are some things you can do to help prevent theft in your home. You may know some of these already, but it never hurts to get a quick reminder.
Use those locks!
Don’t make it easy on someone to come inside when you aren’t home. Make sure to keep all your doors and your windows locked and secure, especially when you are away.
Close your Curtains!
This will help strangers from seeing inside your RV and knowing what you have inside and whether or not you are home. With the lights on and the curtains closed, it looks like someone’s home.
Where are your Valuables?
Make sure they are tucked away and out of sight!! Even better, keep them with you, them to a minimum, or lock them away.
Hopefully, this advice will help you feel more secure in your RV or when you are storing it for the season. Nothing can really prevent the most determined thief, but these measures should certainly deter most. Keep in mind that the likelihood of you being the victim of any theft is small, but it’s always good to be well prepared.
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